I’ve mentioned over the last eight weeks that I’ve been doing a detox challenge. I’ve shared a few recipes and tips that I’ve learned over this time period. I wanted to wait until the challenge was finished to share with you my results and how I honestly felt about it.
Those are big words. But yet, that’s how I honestly feel about the 8 week challenge. Let me explain in greater detail.
Before I started this challenge, I was at my heaviest weight ever, post babies (I did weigh slightly more when I was pregnant, but not much). I had actually started GAINING weight back instead of loosing the baby weight this past fall 2014. I was out of control, when it came to my eating habits. You see, I had told myself, five years ago with my first pregnancy, that I could eat whatever I wanted to while I was pregnant. That never again would I allow myself to eat this way so I might as well enjoy it while it lasted.
I couldn’t stop eating like this. It had become my lifestyle. It was my new normal. And it was awful.
The problem with this thinking was that I ended up having three kids in four years…that means three times of allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted to. Every craving, I gave into. Big Mac’s and chocolate became my best friends (gross, eh?!) And what happens when you behave like this for an extended period of time, is that once you are finally ready for change, your body is addicted and the change won’t come easily. I was completely addicted to the food I was eating and it didn’t matter that I was no longer pregnant, I couldn’t stop eating like this. It had become my lifestyle. It was my new normal. And it was awful.
I knew I needed to change and I knew it needed to be drastic. Also, I knew it needed to be for life. No more of these fad diets. No more counting points, no shakes or specialty drinks. I’ve done them ALL. Don’t get me wrong…they DO work. I saw results on ALL of those diets I tried. But where the problem lies is with the longevity of those programs. They aren’t maintainable…FOR LIFE. I don’t want to count points THE REST OF MY LIFE! I don’t want to be dependent on special shakes or teas or any other product, for that matter, that I have to continually keep ordering. No thanks. That wasn’t for me. I wanted healthy, CLEAN eating. I wanted to get back to the most basic style of eating, the way we were created to eat, and follow THAT plan. Because to me, THAT is what will be maintainable. No gimmics. No ongoing cost. No points. Just real, clean food. And that’s why I fell in love with this 8 week challenge.
The premise of the challenge is to detox your body from all the garbage you’ve put into it. To eliminate foods that are doing more harm than good and to reset your system. To fill your body FULL of GREAT food that will give you more energy than you’ve ever had before. To take 56 days to completely change your life. It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life.
For too long I’ve believed the lie that I would always be fat…that I would always struggle with weight…I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror anymore. The outside didn’t match the inside.
As I’ve said it a few times before, 2015 is MY year…the year where I finally rediscover myself, my giftings, dreams and focus a bit more on who I am and what I’m meant to be. I believe this means physically too. For too long I’ve believed the lie that I would always be fat…that I would always struggle with weight. I think it’s a coping mechanism that I used to justify my weight. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be happy with their bodies at any size, what I’m saying is that for me, I KNEW I was grossly overweight but I started to just tell myself that this was my new normal. That I wouldn’t ever be slim again. And somewhere along the way, I started believing that. I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror anymore. The outside didn’t match the inside. I refused to be in full body pictures. Even when I would see a picture of myself, I was always SHOCKED..Is that REALLY what I look like?!?
My dear friend Pam is the one who introduced me to this challenge. She had already done it once and it changed her life. I knew that after months of talking about it with her (and my hubby), that at the start of 2015, it was time! The challenge began the last week in January and I’ll be honest, I was overwhelmed at first. That first grocery shopping was almost two hours long because I was searching in aisles I never knew existed! (True story: I had to call the Superstore, where I shopped weekly, to ask if they had a health food section because I had NEVER seen it! Sure enough, they did!). I like routine and consistency and I have a good 20-30 recipes that I have mastered and rotate every few weeks. The idea of having to try all new recipes was a bit frightening. And we’ve all had those “healthy” recipes before…and quite frankly, they TASTE GROSS! I was SO worried about that, especially with my picky eaters.
Let me tell you, that after that first week, when I finally located everything in the grocery store, and I tried a few recipes out, I was SO EXCITED! The food was DELICIOUS! My pickiest eater, Gabriel, INHALED everything I put in front of him. No word of a lie! I honestly haven’t had one recipe that I don’t like. And I could start to feel the difference almost immediately. My body was responding in a positive way. It’s as if my body was desperate for this change and relieved that I was fully fuelling it in the proper way.
The things I had to cut out where: caffeine, gluten, dairy and sugar. The only thing on that list that scared me was the caffeine. I was ADDICTED to coffee. We are talking three-four of the largest size mugs on the Keurig EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! I didn’t think I could do it. But guess what? I did! And it really wasn’t that hard! We all talk a big talk like giving up coffee is going to ruin our lives and more so, our social credibility or something, but it doesn’t! Coffee, in that kind of amounts daily, is not good for you. It wasn’t for me. I was MORE irritable and MORE tired. Plus I hated the idea of being addicted to something. I had a few headaches the first few days, but truthfully, it really wasn’t bad at all! If I can do it, SO CAN YOU!
I truthfully never craved anything! You know why? Because I was filling my body with WHOLE, CLEAN, HEALTHY foods! They say that it takes three weeks to break a habit and I’m telling you, after those first few weeks on the challenge, I no longer cared about sugar, at all. The other day, I had a sample at Costco of a cracker and cheese and right away I said to my friend “Oh man, there’s definitely sugar in that cracker!” (which was funny because they have packaged it like it’s a healthy cracker…NOT!) I won’t be fooled any longer! My taste buds have changed! And that’s what this challenge has taught me. Not the quick and easy way to manipulate something that causes your body to loose a ridiculous amount of weight in a short time period. Rather, I’ve learned about what is TRULY healthy..what is TRULY clean (cause let me tell you, I THOUGHT I was already eating mostly clean…until Bonnie and Briar knocked some sense into me!) and what will fuel my body while still causing me to loose the unwanted weight, but in a safe, healthy and maintainable way.
I have loved this challenge SO much that even though it is technically over for us, my hubby and I are still going to be living challenge friendly. We are SO happy with our results and how we feel, why would we want to go back? And for me, I still have a long ways to go on my weight loss journey. I did alot of damage over those five years of childbearing (and truthfully, I was overweight when I first got pregnant too). So for me, I am SO happy with these life skills I feel I have learned from this challenge and I don’t plan on ever going back.
In 8 weeks, with very minimal exercise (I was supposed to be doing it daily but one thing at a time for me), I lost 15 lbs and 10.5 inches! This is slower weight loss than I have had with previous programs, however, I truly believe this is BETTER weight loss, for me. Every time I step on the scale, another pound is gone…and I barely feel it. I’m now starting to add in exercise, training for a 5K marathon (hello, I’m SO not a runner, but here goes nothing!)
Btw, it’s REALLY hard for me to share this BEFORE picture. Not only do I see a person who is really overweight, I see a person who has given up. Who doesn’t care anymore. Because truth is, I didn’t. Notice the difference with just my overall continence…it’s HUGE how deciding to change what you eat can literally CHANGE YOUR LIFE. And in the AFTER picture, I still see someone who is overweight…but the difference is…not only am I smaller…I’m HAPPIER. I’M HEALTHIER. I’m on my way to a MUCH better life all because I’ve decided to take control over what I allow in my body. And that, my friends, make me SO HAPPY!
Thanks for reading my super long post! I hope you feel inspired to make that change you’ve been wanting to. Don’t wait…start today! And if you want more information on the 8 Week Challenge, click the link or feel free to ask! I cannot say enough good about Bonnie and Briar (the founders of the challenge) and what they’ve created! Love those two ladies and I’m forever grateful!
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Love & Blessings,
* This post was not sponsored in any way. These are my own views and I wanted to share how much I love this challenge!